Since then, results have been mixed, and manager Paul Bodin will be hopeful that his squad can end this protracted qualifying journey on a positive note ahead of the remaining fixtures against Moldova and Germany. But there is much more to this team than results, and it is the established pathway to Ryan Giggs' senior squad that shows the real mark of success. During the course of this U21 qualifying campaign, Rhys Norrington-Davies, Brennan Johnson, Dylan Levitt and Ben Cabango have all featured for Cymru, and the quartet have all been involved in the senior squad since the restart, while others like Regan Poole have also had a taste of that environment.
“We trained alongside the 1st team in September and it was great to see Ryan Giggs and Rob Page come over and watch the latter part of our session,” explained Bodin. “There's a clear pathway for everybody to see. You've got to be realistic, if you're taking five or six players out of this squad to move them up to the senior team that obviously diminishes the ability in your squad. I've been working for eight years in the setup and there's nobody prouder or happier than myself and the coaches when we see players progress. You have to take your hat off to Ryan [Giggs] and Chris Coleman to a degree previously, as they've both handed young players that opportunity. It enhances the 1st team squad and the opportunity is there to go on and play for Wales at senior level, which is a fantastic achievement for anyone who actually does that.”